The moment the Jays signed Justin Turner last week, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Jays Journal No. 17 prospect Spencer Horwitz. That is because he was clearly looking forward to finally having his shot at the majors this coming season with the Jays after a phenomenal season last year with their Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. With the Bisons, Horwitz posted a stellar .337 batting average, .945 OPS, 61 runs scored, 30 doubles, 10 home runs, 72 RBI, 9 stolen bases in 107 games played, capturing team MVP honours at the end of the season.
His elite performance also earned him a couple of stints with the big league team during the course of the 2023 season. In 15 games with the Jays, he hit .256 with 5 runs scored, a pair of doubles, a home run and 7 RBI, while looking like he belonged on the big stage. Added to the fact that he hits left-handed, something the Jays lack on their roster, he appeared to have an inside track in getting a starting gig as the designated hitter with the team for 2024.
However, with the designated hitter role likely filled by the newly signed Turner, Horwitz may start the season now either on the bench or perhaps even back in the minors for another stint. But with his bat clearly ready for the majors as of right now, putting him in one of those two options is not the best plan going forward for the ballclub as it could hinder his overall growth and career. As a result, using Horwitz as trade bait to bring in some of the team’s remaining missing pieces would be the best plausible outcome for both parties.